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What the US elections might mean for Dodd-Frank

Posted by Andrew Marshall on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 @ 07:32 AM

The future of Dodd-Frank will depend on the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections.  Below here’s what the two candidates say, in their own words, on Dodd-Frank.  Then we offer some thoughts on the implications for the industry, and speculate on how the media – in the US and internationally - might cover this pre and post-election.

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Investing in America: Obama's Second State of the Union

Posted by Paul Damon on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 @ 01:19 AM

Reading the headlines following Obama’s Second State of the Union Address, it is striking how much the Administration hasechoed the policy thoughts of smart money managers – calling for greater fiscal responsibility, real investment (education, physical infrastructure, transport, and access to information), job creating policies, lower and transparent corporate tax rates, and an emphasis on the production of physical goods and the international trade relations – rather than slapstick solutions that simply push consumers back into the shopping malls, propping up GDP levels from consumption. 

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Volcker Back in the Spotlight

Posted by Paul Damon on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 @ 06:32 PM
Given the prominence of his long-held opinions in Obama's proposal to separate prop trading from banks with commercial operations, Mr. Volcker must have had a chuckle last week when The Wall Street Journal intimated his influence with the Administration was waning....and sent many scrambling to hedge their bets.

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High-Frequency News Cycle: The Challenges of the Presidency in the New Media Epoch

Posted by Paul Damon on Wed, Jan 20, 2010 @ 09:20 AM

The New Yorker's Ken Auletta has a masterful piece ("Non-Stop News") on the Obama Administration's communications efforts and the changing nature of media in this week's issue.   Under guidance from Obama's precocious Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, we are given a picture of a Presidency that is ultra-awaredeliberate and 'on message', sensitive, reactive and oftentimes political, in a media environment that has been put into hyperdrive by technology - which has at once increased competition for content and challenged previous revenue structure - as well as everchanging consumption habits.

There are many lessons for both firms as well as journalists that we may take away from the results Obama and his press team's initiatives have seen in this new epoch:

- Transparency may give you the benefit of the doubt, but certainly won't let you fully control the story

 - New media is essential to engage, but thinking it will replace the press and their "preoccupation with conflict" is naive,   as well as intimating ambitions of something much more severe

- Reactivity sets a mold that is hard to break.

- PR strategy is paramount in an era where 'the story' can shift at any moment

- "We're all wire-service reporters now" - NBC’s chief White House correspondent, Chuck Todd.

- Being proactive and picking your battles still matters, no matter how short the attention span and story cylce seems to favor variety - be it legislation or a company's product offerings.  

With recent landmark setbacks to his party, it'll be interesting to see where history attributes blame for poor democratic performance in the polls, the oft-cited unemployment rate or the hyper-paced news cycle, increasingly incapable of digestion, only constant conflict.  Additionally, the power balance in the Senate will no doubt create many more challenges for Obama's PR program, ones that won't be so easily solved with a beer in the garden. 

We at Cognito constantly assess the developing media landscape in the financial services space and counsel clients on how to best articulate, further industry discussions and manage reputation under these evolving parameters.   The capital markets naturally have a longer running relationship with an audience known for instantaneous reaction to events and data, though even that is increasing with yet-to-be-seen consequences due to technology and structural shifts in the market.  And while on the topic of the capital markets (the one piece of legislation Auletta avoids is Financial Regulatory Reform actually), it is interesting to note other prominent figures who have found themselves victimto today's rapid fire news cycle with varying degrees of success and reactivity vs proactivity in approach.  

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Off-the-record? Don't be so sure. Pres. Obama learns a lesson in communications

Posted by Binna Kim on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 @ 04:56 PM

In what is already making waves in both new and traditional media - President Obama's supposedly "off-the-record" comment about hip-hop artist Kanye West broke on Twitter thanks to ABC News. 

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A Rare Stumble

Posted by Dan Simon on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 @ 07:42 PM

When, in the middle the of last year's presidential campaign, Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, publicly railed against white hegemony, candidate Obama used his formidable powers of persuasion to turn a potential crisis in to an opportunity. This past week he has taken an opportunity and turned it in to a crisis.

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Obama's Creditor Crunch

Posted by Paul Damon on Tue, May 12, 2009 @ 11:54 AM

The Obama administration’s recent show of force to Chrysler’s creditors has swept the market’s and the media’s attention. Critics of Obama’s tactics are quick to note the waves of uncertainty these actions – calling secured creditors “speculators” and breaching holy grails of capitalism and our market system; due process, capital structure, etc – are sending to private investors, precisely the group the administration has been courting for participation in TALF and PPIP and whose buy-in is necessary to turning the markets.

The fund community, initially taking refuge in anonymity, is becoming more vocal. Managers have become more outspoken on the ramifications of such interference and the MFA and Coalition of Private Investment Companies (CPIC) have met with Geithner.

From a communication perspective, these are necessary and positive steps to establishing dialogue and prevent further derision of the industry. Funds may find it particularly effective to remind the government that “sacrifices” don’t just decrease managers’ income, they ultimately hit the fire fighter and schoolteachers whose pensions invest with hedge funds.

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I Blew It All On Booze, Drugs, and... PR?

Posted by Binna Kim on Wed, Apr 15, 2009 @ 08:22 AM

What will AIG do next with its bailout allowance? AIG is coming under fire from the House of Reps for doling out payments to PR agencies, for what appears to be a covert side operation to attack bailout critics.

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